WATCH: forging a d20 out of red hot steel


Originally published at:


Let’s see you float that one in salt water.


“Take 3d20 damage” is suddenly quite dire…


You have to use something like molten aluminum or something.


The singular of ‘dice’ is ‘die.’


Looking forward to the story about how he polishes it in a rock tumbler…


What’s the plural of “stuff you in your locker”?


How about mercury?


but seriously, was disappointed that there was no testing for balance/randomness. I would assume that this die is “loaded,” however unintentionally.


He actually gets it up to straw a couple times, not just red. [/pedant]

Not only is Mr. Ramirez a capable smith, he’s a dab hand at engraving. I wish I was that steady! I’d’ve punched the numbers instead, like the one in the still.

@brzap, you’re on the right track. Old timey swordsmiths and toolmakers kept large vats of mercury for tempering, and to minimize the amount that vaporized off (into their lungs and brainstems) they’d float a steel plate on top. Lead was used in similar ways, but of course mercury’s the only metal that’s liquid at room temperature.


That’s why I also forged the One Die, to roll them all.


I was watching Mr. Ramirez engraving the numbers and kept thinking ‘don’t you have some numbered punched you could use instead of all that grinding?’


Well aluminum is lighter than iron, so that’s not going to work. Lead would probably work though.


I’m 46. I got my first set of D&D when I was 10. I’ve been saying “icosahedron” wrong this entire time. Somehow, it was always “IK-so-hee-DRON” in my head.


Pity we didn’t meet, I could have smugly corrected you.


Of course there are a lot of words I read and understood as a kid solely from D&D, but mispronounced in my head for years:

Antipathy was "an-TEE-path-EE"
Augury was "OW-guu-ree"
Chromatic was "ky-ROME-at-ik"
Charisma was “CHAR-eez-ma” (then, following a Van Halen video: “KA-RAAS-ma”


The iron D20: So you can critically hit the table, fellow gamers and your pieces as well as imaginary goblins!


I’ve always pronounced it ‘EYE-ko-se-heed-ron’. Eh, as long as you get the vowels and consonants in the right order, it’s good.


Based on the lockers in this stock photo, it looks like he’s working out of the The Orange County Blacksmith Guild’s forge at the Heritage Museum of Orange County. They have classes… :slight_smile:


I’d think it’d have to be so. I bet you could machine a perfect d20 from steel, but if you can hammer one out, I’ll bow down to you as forge god, and build you a church.

I’ve got a bit of experience blacksmithing and bladesmithing, and if someone asked me if I could forge a d20, I’d laugh out a hearty “hell no”.